By on April 17, 2013

TTAC Commentator MNM4EVER writes:

A mechanic friend of mine has a 1993 LX 5.0 w/AOD in slightly rough condition he is looking to get rid of. I can pick it up now, complete but not running, for $1800. If I do not buy it, he plans to get it running but otherwise not fix it up and sell it for $3k or so.

My goal for my potential Mustang is to resto-mod it… 4.6L Cobra motor, track suspension, Cobra disc brakes all around, restore the interior but replace the seats, maybe even swap in a later 94-2004 dash, etc. Since I am looking to replace much of the major components of the car, a rough project car is a definite option for me.

But this rough car needs a lot of other things replaced too… all of the exterior moldings are weathered and degrading thanks to sitting in the Florida sun, the interior is trashed all around, paint is very bad, the body has dings and cracked plastic bumpers, surface rust has set in on many places and a little rust appears on the hatch edges, etc. I am guessing I would need to strip it completely and spend around $2k on bodywork to get it fixed, but then it would be showroom new. But the idea of replacing all those moldings and interior parts scares me… sh!t adds up fast.

So my long drawn out question: Is this a good buy at $1800? Or should I keep looking for a closer to mint Mustang for $5-7k that only needs minor restoration and mechanical upgrades as I see fit?

Sajeev answers:

So basically NOTHING on this Fox Mustang is up to your standards.  Honestly, it’s a horrible example of Fox-aliciousness for anyone at $1800. Even if it had a T-5 (stick), this is a $1000 Fox as it sits…on a good day. $1800 if it was complete and fully assembled? Somewhat likely.

You are one of “those people” that demands a nice car and will pay big money to make it right. For you people (what do you mean YOU people?) there’s no substitute for buying the cleanest, most pristine example you can afford. $5000 or more for a clean Fox Mustang isn’t unreasonable, and that’s right for you.

Once more: buy the cleanest, most pristine example you can afford.

And when you do, you better not put the later model dash in there…that’s just wrong for the rest of the body and a complete waste of a nice car.

MNM4EVER writes:

Well, since I consider you the expert on Fox bodies (too bad 5.0 Mustangs are lamesauce and Fox Lincolns/Cougars/Granadas/etc. rule – SM) , I figured there was no one better to help with my decision. I have been considering picking up a 90-93 Mustang hatch, preferably an LX 5.0 with a stick. I don’t want a convertible, I don’t like the GT look, and I don’t want a notchback. I remember back in the day the notch was considered super rare and therefore more desirable, but today it seems like they are everywhere. I know they are lighter, I don’t care, I like the hatchback look.

This will be a long term project/driver, and will definitely get upgraded suspension and brakes, wheels, seats, and I want 300-350hp. The dilemma is that nice LX 5.0 hatches are hard to find, especially in the condition I want it. I want a nice clean interior, I don’t want a beat on drag car or a rusted banged up body, in the end I want this car to be better than new and bodywork is very expensive. I can do most mechanical and all interior work myself, but I can’t paint or fix rust and dents. Down here in Florida it seems to be easier to find mint condition 4-cyl Mustangs, many owned by elderly people with low miles, and definitely never beat on. And since they are not V8s, they are CHEAP, much less than the V8s I see for sale.

So how hard is it to do an engine and trans swap into a 4-cyl Fox body and build it up the way I want it, compared to starting with a 5.0 platform? I don’t know how many differences there are in the chassis between them. I know even 5.0 cars need chassis bracing, I am going to change out the suspension and brakes anyway, etc. And no, I don’t want to turbo the 4-cyl, I want a V8 this time. To compare, I found a pretty nice all original LX 5.0 hatch with an auto and 68k miles for $7k, but I also found a just as nice, newer 4cyl LX hatch with 48k miles for $3k.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Sajeev concludes:

When it comes to Fox bodies, always remember the first rule of modification: chassis bracing uber alles. That means subframe connectors (get the ones that bolt to the seat bottoms, weld to the subframes) a G-load brace for the front subframe and a 3-point strut tower brace.  Not much extra weight, and it changes the car for the better. You will notice the difference behind the wheel in a matter of FEET, not miles.

If you only want less than 400hp (at the wheels), stick with the stock small block Ford (SBF) and upgrade the heads/cam/intake to make that up. For a street car, I’d recommend a power adder (Whipplecharger) and the appropriate camshaft to make it sing. And apparently Mr. John Kasse is finally making a set of heads that will put the 5.0 V8 a little closer to your garden variety LSX motor.** If you buy your parts wisely, the SBF will be a good fit for your needs and not be a huge money pit. If you plan on paying someone for the motor work, save yourself the expense of a non-SBF motor swap and build a good SBF that will drop right in with zero drama.

Now about the 4-cyl to 5.0 swap: it’s a huge pain in the butt because the wiring harness must be changed (alternator, interior stuff, etc.). Not fun. But if you have the two Mustangs side-by-side and a long weekend ahead of you, you can do it.  And be miserable…in the short term.

Good luck in your hunt.  But take heed to my parting shot, son:

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

**Obviously the all-aluminum LSX-FTW swap is the ideal answer, but sometimes its cheaper (parts and labor) to accomplish almost the same thing with the factory correct engine block.  I am always torn between a 5.0 or an LS in a Fox Body, in cases where less than 400 horses is needed on a reasonable budget. The stock SBF is still a good motor in certain applications, and I am pretty sure this is one of those cases. This ain’t no wheezy four-banger or a gutless V6. And the SBF sounds better than any LSX, so there’s that.

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58 Comments on “Piston Slap: One of “Those People…”...”


  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    What’s wrong with the powertrain?

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Rule number one: NEVER buy a car that doesn’t run. Period.

    I learned that the hard way many years ago, and will never repeat it. Why? Unless you are in the business, have your own shop, or are very buddy-buddy with someone who is, you will get buried in a short while, especially if you are young and your resources are limited.

    I sold my project car in boxes 5 years after I started…

    Never again!

    • 0 avatar
      grzydj

      Truer words have never been spoken, but I still haven’t learned my lesson… yet.

    • 0 avatar

      Nah, you can buy it for $500 or less. You can easily triple your money (or more) with a little labor, or just part it out thanks to the magic of Craigslist.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      I’ve gotten more than one car that wasn’t running up and running…even pass inspection….for not a lot of money. There is BIG difference between a car that’s not running, but otherwise complete and unmolested, and a car that’s a basket case or worse, a half-assed hack job. Stay away from basket cases and ghetto mods.

      As for the car in question, $1,800 is much too much. $800-$1000 would be more like it. If worse comes to worse, and you can’t complete your project for whatever reason, you can eBay and Craig’s List your initial investment back.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “Rule number one: NEVER buy a car that doesn’t run if you don’t know what you’re doing. Period.”

      FTFY.

  • avatar
    SkookumFord

    Sajeev is correct as always. Fox Body T-birds are %100 better than mustangs. Everyone drives a mustang. Myself? I’ve dumped an embarrassing amount of money into my beloved Mark VII and it STILL hasnt run in 3 yrs… Also, I’ve always been on the lookout for a Fairmont Wagon…

  • avatar
    gessvt

    For a 4 cyl (or four eyed 3.8 V6) swap, I would find a wrecked 94-95 GT or Cobra for the donor car so you can harvest the 8.8″ axle, 5 lug disc brakes, dual master cylinder, wheels, etc.

    I also agree with Sajeev: keep the 80′s interior intact! The one in my ’93 is squeak and rattle free. Lots of chassis reinforcements, but still…

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Good luck finding a wrecked ’94-95 GT/Cobra that hasn’t already been picked cleaner than last week’s baked chicken. However, if you do find one, GET THE WINDOW AND DOOR SEALS if they are still serviceable. The good news is for the underside, much of the platform’s dynamics are very similiar so if you were lucky enough to find a ’94-’02 Cobra (before the IRS), you need to grab the lower and upper control arms off the rear end and the Ford Racing control arms off the front. If you’re very lucky, you may find that the original Flowmaster 50 stock true-dual exhaust is still present as well on the earlier model Cobras.

      Honestly, I envy you. Would kill to have a lovely plain-Jane Fox body to build on as I’ve got the ’95 Cobra Hardtop Convertible that I’ve desperately attempted to keep as showroom as possible. Good luck.

      • 0 avatar
        patman

        ’99 & ’01 had the IRS too (there were no 2000 or 2002 Cobras other than the ’00 Cobra R for those wondering)

        Ooh, a ’95 Cobra Hardtop – those look fantastic. Do hang on to that one.

      • 0 avatar
        gessvt

        @ dolorean: wrecked 94-95 GTs are still out there. Google “mustang salvage”.

        You may be right about the Cobras though. Yours sounds nice! I had a 1995 GTS (GT with option delete package) briefly.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Sajeev, you should have saved the strokes and referred him to the kid at Project Ugly Horse. I know that Autoblog has become passe, but even the Cranes come up with some good stuff once in a while.

    • 0 avatar

      A great column for sure, but he’s keeping the 2.3, IIRC. That, and I like wasting keystrokes on Fox Bodies because they are the reason I actually gave a crap about cars.

      • 0 avatar
        olddavid

        You led me down the MarkVIII path, so at my house, your contributions are viewed through that lens. Plus, I’m betting he will change his mind on the four. I sure would, especially after going to the trouble to install the IRS. The harness will be tough,but not impossible. Said by a fool who keeps a wet-clutch Hudson.

        • 0 avatar

          Please accept my apologies in advance for making you buy a Mark VIII. That said, it’s still my favorite new car, because it really doesn’t get old…except when it reminds you that the warranty expired 10+ years ago.

          • 0 avatar
            olddavid

            No apology necessary. I loved the car. I failed to listen to my betters, and ruined it by installing the strut kit. Never rode the same after. I’m actively looking for another one now, as my wife has stolen the only perfectly running Catera in captivity. Maybe pride really does goeth before the fall. P.S. – WTF is a “heritage” editor?

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “…Fox Bodies because they are the reason I actually gave a crap about cars.”

        That really puzzles me, as I see nothing remotely attractive about them, but I suppose it’s an age-relative thing, but growing up with 50′s and 60′s cars are my reason.

        • 0 avatar

          Not finding beauty in the Aerobirds, the Mark VII, the retro-Continentals and maybe even the neoclassic Cougars should be grounds for banning on TTAC. Of course they are not, but you see my point.

          • 0 avatar
            olddavid

            No gray area when stylists have their baselines challenged. I remember some fool who dared to ask Hal Sperlich why the nose on the Caravan was the way it was. Never saw the guy again. But, it might have been coincidence, as it wasn’t my department. As I have related before, the input from the creatives is alchemy to me. The wonder of the process is what led to my marriage to an MFA photographer. Still haven’t figured it out 26 years later. And I’m still lucky enough to be awed by her “process”.

          • 0 avatar
            Zackman

            Sajeev, I was referring to the Mustangs. I DID like a few others you mention.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          Clearly its an age thing, just like I don’t find 50s cars even remotely desirable. The Fox-body Mustang was one of the coolest cars when I was in HS, along with the Grand National and 3rd-gen Z28s and Trans Ams. The 3rd-gens fall apart too easily and a GN is a bit pricey for one like I want it. The Mustang is the most affordable of the bunch, easy to work on and upgrade, and not so valuable that I would not want to modify it.

          I do love 60s and 70s muscle cars too, I’d love a 69-70 GTO or Mustang fastback, or any 67-73 Camaro Z28, but they are quite a step up in price so I am saving that for a future project.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Ive been following Ugly Horse already, but he is not really going for a mint condition car, he is just going for mechanical goodness. Very good information though, even on just what fits and exactly what they mean when they say “bolts right in”. I just saw his last entry, and I am jealous of his IRS find, and even more jealous that he attracted the attention of Ford Racing for what appears to be a powerplant donation. You bloggers are livin the dream man!

  • avatar
    patman

    It feels weird to be talking about restomodding a car with modern fuel injection and an airbag. A car from 1993 doesn’t seem nearly as old in 2013 as a car from 1973 did in 1993.

    You have a lot more options these days for seats – any Fox or SN95 seat will bolt right in if you can find any still in good condition as the newest is still 10 years old now. The good news is you can get replacement foam and covers in vinyl or leather (and maybe some cloth now too) and restore your 1979-2004 seats back to stock or upgrade them to sport seats or one of the desirable SVO, ’03/04 Cobra, Bullitt or MACh1 styles. Or you can do what I did for my ’96 and put S197 seats in with some modification.

    I like the SN95 dash swaps into Foxes. Not everyone should do it but I like the organic curves of the dash set against the crisp planes of the body. I’m a fan of mixing and matching bits & pieces from Fox/SN95 & S197 (and even other sources – I’ve got a MKVIII steering wheel in mine(inspired by an article here)) to make your own Mustang.

    • 0 avatar

      I remember. You gotta love the full leather wrapping of a Mark VIII wheel in ‘yo Stang.

      • 0 avatar
        patman

        Yep, I sure do. It’s a small little thing but makes a big difference since your hands are on the wheel the whole time you’re in the car.

        They’re so cheap at the pick-n-pull that I got an extra one in grey in case I decide I get tired of the two-tone look or I need a pattern for getting a new one made when this one eventually wears out.

        Here’s what it looks like:
        https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/IpjTmEFqkk7HOXCp4gprvdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      @Patman, those organic curves were Ford’s attempt to harken back to the twin-cowl look of the late ’60s Stang in the SN95. Additional ques were the functional rear air scoops scalloped in the door design and the ‘cheese-grater’ tail-lamps. Not to mention the finger-width gaps between the paneling.

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      Imagine the culture shock my father went through, being born in 1916. He saw radio, TV, brass cars, and the change from horses on the farm. Every time I get cranky about the net or some other insult to my insularity, I try to remember the grace and true curiosity he exhibited as he saw the world change. You’re exactly right, as the changes of the last 20 years are staggering. The fu#*ing car actually tells me where to start now when diagnosing problems. What’s not to like? After my foolish hubris with the Catera project, I’m feeling invincible, so time for another Northstar to bring me back to earth.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    If you’re going to go through the trouble of swapping in a modular motor (or an LSx for that matter) a clean 4 cylinder car might be your ticket since you’ll ditch most of the factory harness and hardware anyway.

    $1800 is definitely too much for the car in question. If you want a really clean one, pay for one up front, you’ll save money over paying someone to polish a turd.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    Finding the best example statement is very true for someone like me currently without a garage, but with limited funding and a lack of trust or desire for others to work on my car.
    I scoured the net for a couple of years searching for a 740 turbo wagon with a manual to replace my perfectly good 740 GLE. Great utility, amazingly reliable, comfortable, but truly slow and boring to drive.
    When I finally found one, it was not in the best shape. Skipping the Austin Healy, the Omni that required the included clutch to be installed, and ’47 Chevy 4-door and pair of ’51 5 window trucks, it was the worst out of 40+ cars.

    But I was buying as daily driver, which does make the scenario different. So I have what I wanted, but everyday I’m looking at a peeling paint, headlinerless, worn out 26 year old car that was supposed absorb my allotted dollars into suspension, paint and interior restoration. I’ve replaced the turbo, battery, slave cylinder, hoses and belts. etc. and now nearly 2 years later, it is just as crappy as ever. So I’m primarily driving a just as beaterish ’90 Toyota p’up and holding out for a couple of more months until I move to a place with a garage. Bear with me Volvo.

    Buying cars that require so many hours and dollars to get to the same point as a slightly more expensive but nicer example is as draining as purchasing a cheap house and sinking the budget and labor into termite repair. It is very frustrating.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      A guy around here has a sweet 240 with a V8 swap and the full IPD treatment. I haven’t seen him sitting still to find out what V8 is in it, but it sounds like a Ford. I had considered doing a Volvo with a swap, and I had a 240SX that would have made a great LS swap platform, but I decided I wanted a Mustang more.

      But I agree, I had always been shopping for a mint car that only needed mechanical upgrades, it never seems worth it to fix one up. My mechanic “friend” started talking me into his project car, but after seeing all the comments on it clearly I was on the right path in the first place and he is a bit less of a friend right now. :)

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I am the original poster and I am very happy to get my letters posted. I wrote them months apart, but I wanted to let everyone know that unlike almost all Piston Slap questions, mine is still relevant. I haven’t purchased anything and I won’t be for at least another month, so I am looking forward to all the advice. Especially the Cobra swap ideas, which was my plan all along.

    I did have my mind set on a mod-motor swap but Sajeev made some good points. I am one of “those people” who will spend what I need to get what I want, but my budget isn’t unlimited. One of the reasons I chose a Fox Stang was because it is cheap.

    And while I understand everyone’s love for the other Fox-based cars, I have always wanted a Mustang, the other cars are bigger and heavier and just don’t do it for me. And parts are easier to find.

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      Too cool.Currency and relevance. I am one of those fools who always has some project or another going. My fleet is currently a Ranger, Catera, 450SL, Rambler Ambassador, and a Hudson Hornet. My wife is understanding, but I must isolate her from the muck, or she loses patience in short order. She never gets to drive them until I’m confident that someone who doesn’t even pump her own gas can drive 300 miles without me worrying about our AAA membership. I think that is the key – having reliable transportation while patiently seeing to the details. The web is a fabulous resource. My own benefactors have come from as far as Wales and Finland. Who better to learn from than another gearhead who forgot to hook up something at 1:00 a.m., only to find the error when attempting to go to work the next day? And I thought this was only a porn and music portal. Good luck. When right, not much can challenge a V8 Mustang in the dollars-to-smiles category.

    • 0 avatar

      The Fairmonts are actually lighter than the Mustangs. The 2 door “Boxtop” Fairmont is the lightest of the bunch.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Point taken. I was more speaking on the Tbirds and Lincolns, not the Fairmont. But God that boxtop is an ugly car. Now the Fairmont Futura is kind of cool looking, I saw one that was tastefully modded and looked real good with that forward angle B-pillar.

        I am not here to make excuses… I like the Mustangs because I wanted one back in the day and I can now afford to get the one I wanted. I don’t want a GT, a notchback, or a convertible. I want an LX hatch.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Sajeev Mehta: source of so many B&B bad decisions because “if he can do it, I certainly can too.”

    I get cold sweats just thinking about how long I’ve been out of country not starting my project Fox to keep it’s blood flowing.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Buy an SVO Mustang that someone thought was going to be a collectible. You can find near-perfect, low mileage ones for less than $12K. You can find higher mileage ones for much less. Everything you need in terms of upgrades will already be there and all you need to do is rip out the turbocharged engine and add V8 goodness.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Excellent suggestion, but I really hate the interiors on the earlier models. I love the front ends though and the double rear spoiler. Maybe I need one of each to mix and match.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Should you follow the SVO V8 swap suggestion, make sure to go to foureyedpride dot com and post the before and after. They’ll appreciate it ;)

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        There was a 4 owner, 9,700 mile SVO Mustang on Bring-a-Trailer with an asking price of $12,500. I assume people thought it was an investment, since they sure didn’t enjoy themselves driving it much in almost 30 years of combined ownership. Considering that the $16K the SVO cost in 1984 would be over $37K today, it wasn’t much of an investment. I think the Fox Mustang was a pretty nice car, and the SVO only has one major flaw keeping it from being worth 30 years of registration fees. Why not rip out that one major flaw and give it the engine it should have had from the start? They won’t be collectible until 95% of the ones being preserved are wiped out by natural disasters anyway. Somebody more into Fox Mustangs than I am will figure it out eventually. SVOs may be missing the single most important part of a Mustang, but they have the best chassis parts, the best seats, and they’ve been under covers in garages while all the GTs and LXs were driven to pieces or neglected. Combine that with them being dirt cheap, and V8 swapped SVOs will be the best Fox deals of all.

        I wrote this recommendation on the BAT thread and it was deleted. Apparently, not everyone is prepared to bask in the glow of my brilliance.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @CJ – You wouldn’t do an LSx engine swap in a perfectly good Buick GNX, would you? There’s plenty of stored/hoarded “turnkey” 5.0s in the $12K range that respond well to mods.

          http://www.carsforsale.com/used_cars_for_sale/1993_Ford_Mustang_179239821_37

          Then again, 500 reliable HP is easier to reach in an SVO than 400 HP in an 5.0. Never mind the superior handling and braking of a 4 banger SVO in stock form. I wouldn’t discount it as a Pinto engine. Their all forged internals and high-nickle blocks good for 700+ HP. The 2.3T was Fords 1st attempt at a boosted engine was taking no chances.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            A Buick GNX is an engine in need of a car. An SVO is the opposite, in my opinion. GNXs are also expensive collectibles when in good condition, while there are plenty of speculator-stored SVOs around for anyone that actually wants one. Everything important other than the engine is superior to what came with a GT, so it’s a great place to start a Mustang project. You can skip upgrading the suspension, upgrading the hubs, the brakes, the wheels and the interior. You can skip doing bodywork to address years of wear and tear. I just looked at an SVO forum, and the cars there have very few miles. If the SVO was good to drive, wouldn’t someone have driven them? The market is speaking, and something is holding back the SVO Mustang. I can’t believe it is Mustang fans not wanting wheels you can still buy good tires for, 4-wheel disc brakes, five-lug axles, Koni suspension, or the premium interiors.

            The car you linked to has more than twice the miles of a cheaper SVO, no leather, and is missing many of the other SVO upgrades. SVOs were very expensive cars when new, so they’re bargains now at less than GT money.

            The SVO wasn’t Ford’s first boosted car. There were plenty of 2.3T Mustangs built early in the Fox body’s life. Ford dropped them in 1981 due to sales having already collapsed. The early 2.3 turbos had carburetors, crummy driveability, and a poor reputation for reliability. They brought back the turbo with fuel injection in 1983, but it still didn’t sell because of the reputation the 1979-1981 models had earned.

            Maybe Ford didn’t take any chances, but they didn’t succeed in producing a reliable or desirable engine.
            http://ateupwithmotor.com/sports-cars-and-muscle-cars/206-ford-fox-mustang-svo.html

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            A buddy of mine had an SVO when we were in high school and that car was a beast. I am not sure I would want to convert one to a V8, just seems wrong to me. I like the SVO, I just don’t want another turbo car, I want a V8. I might look for a thrashed one to get the nose and wing from and put it on a later LX 5.0, maybe swap the other parts if they are decent.

            No granted, they had the best suspension/seats/brakes/etc of their time. But are those components still the best I could get? 25+ yrs of technology has passed, seems like I could get better suspension components, brakes from a newer Mustang or aftermarket, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Ford made upgrades to the 2.3T before the SVO, but it was the same basic engine all the way through the ’88 Turbo Coupe.

            There not much difference in wear & tear between 9 and 24K miles, and I just found that one in 20 secs of searching. I’ve seen hoarded 5.0s with less that 1k miles for the same price.

            And it’s still way easier and simpler to swap seats, suspension bits and brakes than an EFI engine swap.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            @DenverMike — That Mustang you linked me to is exactly what I want, same color and everything, right interior. Nice find! Its almost too nice, I would feel bad modifying that one, especially at that price, I need it to be around $10k to justify changing things on it.

            @CJ — I haven’t seen any “cheap’ low mileage SVOs around. I will keep an eye out though, because if I can get a nicer low mileage SVO for less than that red LX, that could possibly change my mind.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            You can get better stuff from the aftermarket, but not from a newer Fox, as they were the least cost-constrained of the production Mustangs. Even the steering rack was better than one used on any other Mustang. It’s funny that people don’t fix SVOs out of respect for them, when there are more preserved SVOs than there are people willing to pay collector car money for them. It seems like people don’t want to mess them up, but they don’t want to drive them either. The only thing that will make originals worth saving is when most of them have been modified so they can be enjoyed and consumed. Now they’re like Cosworth Vegas. They’re ‘interesting,’ but more people thought they were going to appreciate and socked them away than there are people that want one today.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I’m a V8 guy till the end, but if you’ve never driven an SVO and Fox 5.0, back 2 back, you’ll never understand. SVO just turns and stops on a dime and just makes the 5.0 feel like an F-150.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            I spent many nights cruising around in my friend’s SVO, and I have driven the 5.0 as well. No doubt, the SVO was the better car in its day, stock to stock. So I guess I understand CJ’s point, combine the SVO chassis with the V8 and you have the perfect Fox Mustang. I get your point too, you love your SVO and find it perfect as is, and turbos are very tunable.

            My point is that I feel that I can take a 5.0 and mod it to drive better than an SVO and still get the V8 without “messing up” a good SVO (that may or may not ever be worth anything but I will take the good karma and not be the one to mess it up!)

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            There’s nothing really special about the SVO chassis and KONIs & rear disc’s only go ‘so’ far. It’s beauty comes from the far less weight over the front end and that meant an approx 2,500 lbs car. SVOs respond better to tuning and you get your V8 ballz without the boat anchor that hates to change direction and want to keep going when you stand on the brakes.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Use a craigslist search aggregator. You’ll find plenty of them.

  • avatar
    gimmeamanual

    1996 Cobra. Bought last year, $6800 with 65k miles, seats still in great condition, no rust, with longtubes and no cats straight roars. Finding the right person selling it is just as important as finding the right car. I was prepared to spend more for less, couldn’t walk away from this one.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      That’s a great buy, I am sure you will have fun with it. I have considered just getting an SN95 Cobra that already has all the stuff I want, but I prefer the look of the earlier ones.

      I wouldn’t want one as nice as yours, but I see a lot of Cobras that the owners haven’t taken good cosmetic condition of, and those are the real steals. I could use that for the donor car for the all the mechanical parts I want.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Thanks everyone for the advice. I am definitely passing on the white Mustang, I will keep my eye out for a good one. I want a project but I need to spend wisely.

    I love LS swaps, but I can’t put an LS in a Ford, if I do a swap on a Mustang it will be with a Ford engine. If I did an LS swap I would get a GM car instead… Camaro, Monte Carlo SS, GTO. But I like how the Ford engines sound.

  • avatar

    “SBF sounds better than any LSX, so there’s that”

    As a classic Chevy owner, I want to be offended by that, but it’s true


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